In my family we tell this story:
Many moons ago 😉 my great grand father moved from Greece to the states to create a better life for his family. Upon arrival he dredged through registration at Ellis Island. Approaching his turn he -like many others – had his name Americanized. “It’s too long!” “American’s can not pronounce this!”
Whoever is telling the story at the time generally makes up the ORIGINAL Greek family name. Though our story all ends the same.
On that day they told my family, their new name is “Marris“.
Eventually like all men his age he joined the armed forces. They say there must have been a typo upon registering and again his name was changed. Morris. (The story always goes … “He just assumed those dang lazy Americans were just changing his name once again).
Now what is true is I have family members that go by Marris and family members that go by Morris.
I do not know how much of that story holds true after generations and variations of re-telling. I do know that I love it! It creates a sense of family history and pride. My father passed while I was young, and so there is little background that gets to us of his side of the family.
My siblings and I have been proud to say there is some Greek. Somewhere in there.
And so – I like to try my hand at Mediterranean fairs every blue moon. Although this meal is not necessarily traditionally Greek … it is loaded with lemon and oregano – and that IS very Greek.
Here is what is for Dinner: Marinated Chicken Thighs, Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Falafel with Tzatziki.
For this post I will give a quick synopsis of the chicken, salad, and tzatziki … the recipe will be for the falafel. This was new to me. Something to try. It is on the lighter side of fried and heck … who doesn’t love falafel!? It was easy as well.
WARNING: Dough must rest for an hour! (I hate when I only figure that out halfway through buying ingredients because I did not read far enough).
- 1.5 Cups chopped Onion
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1.5 Cups cooked Chick Peas
- 1 Cup lightly packed Parsley Leaves
- 3/4 Cup lightly packed Cilantro Leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Avocado Oil (or any high heat point oil for sauteing)
Add Onions and Garlic to food processor: Pulse until Minced. Set aside.
Add Chick Peas, Parsley, Cilantro, Salt, Chili Powder, and Cumin to food processor: Pulse until Rough Blend.
Add Onion Mixture and Baking Powder and a 1/4 Cup flour: Pulse until mixture begins to take a shape.
NOTE: Do not over pulse. Your Dough will turn to a paste. You can still make the falafel despite, but the texture will be less favorable.
At this point I removed my Dough from the food processor and moved to the bowl. I added and slowly folded more Flour (1/4 cup at a time)until my mixture was less sticky.
Cover with plastic. Set in refrigerator for one hour.
After one hour, heat your oil choice over Medium heat. Enough oil to cover the pan! Be generous here.
I used my hands to ball about 3 tablespoons of mixture. Drop in oil. Pat down to a shape you enjoy. Fry 3 minutes per side.
Set on towel lined cooling rack. Salt immediately.
That’s it! So simple, so tasty! Something different from our normal weeknight dinner.
Marinate Chicken thighs over night: Lemon Juice, Extra Virgina Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, 1 clove Garlic, tablespoon oregano. I also added 2 tablespoons of a Cajun seasoning. Fry for 5 minutes a side (avocado oil) under a 5lb weight ! Then bake for another 20 – 30 Minutes until temps reach 160.
Salad – Cube cucumber, tomato, slice onion. Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Oregano, White Vinegar, and Agave. Salt and Pepper. Toss. Let set for one hour.
Tzatziki – 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 clove garlic. Clean cucumber (peel and remove seeds), Grate Cucumber, Squeeze out water with cheese cloth. Salt, pepper, lemon juice. Stir.
A meal fit for a Grecian Princess !
Please comment if you need further details on any recipe! ENJOY!